Muslim MPs meet today to review govt. promises | Daily News


Aftermath of Easter attacks

Muslim MPs meet today to review govt. promises

Muslim Parliamentarians are to meet today to discuss the plight of Muslims in the country in the aftermath of incidents against their community and to decide on the future course of action over Muslims who continue to be arbitrarily detained.

“We would like to review how, as people’s representatives, we have been supporting the government to return the country to normalcy in trying to support the Forces in making arrests of perpetrators who were involved or had any connection to the Easter Sunday bombings,” said Minister Kabir Hashim. “We have also been looking at a number problems encountered by our community due to racism and racist elements within society.”

He said he was thankful to State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardena who has formed a committee at the Defence Ministry which seeks the participation of the IGP and other high-ranking military officials to discuss this problem. “We have been discussing these issues and the Attorney General’s department has been very helpful,” Minister Hashim said.

He underscored that more needs to be done, but that they are relieved that “saner counsel has prevailed” and that there is an understanding that the intentions of a few were not reflective of those of the Muslim community as a whole.

Minister Hashim was one of the 11 Muslim Ministers who quit their portfolio last month over the government’s inaction to curb incidents of racial abuse and violence against the Muslim community.

During the press briefing last month, Rauff Hakeem, leader of Sri Lanka’s primary Muslim political party, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, said: “All Muslim Cabinet, non-Cabinet and Deputy Ministers - all those representing Muslims - will resign from their portfolios. “If our ministerial portfolios are in the way, we are willing to give it up for the safety of our community.”

He added that the Muslim community was paying a heavy price due to the crimes of a few individuals even after cooperating with the government and Security Forces on various rules and regulations such as the closure of madrasas.

He said that the Muslim politicians would continue in their positions as Members of Parliament. The former ministers will sit at the back of Parliament and will cease to hold any ministerial positions. Since the proclamation, Minister Hashim and Minister A.L.M. Haleem have returned to their portfolios. 

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